There are various reasons why I decided to travel. I once wrote that I decided to travel the world because I wanted to escape a sheltered environment, and discover the rest of the world. I also wanted to prove that one’s race, gender, background, or financial status did not prevent one from obtaining a great life. It all started ten years ago when I made a promise to myself and God…
Gun shots, police sirens, and people yelling are the sounds I listen to at night. I should be asleep because I have school tomorrow, but it is difficult to go to sleep because of the noise outside, and the discomfort in my bed. My siblings, my mom, and I all share a full size bed, and because I am the youngest and smallest in the family, I always have a small area of the bed to sleep on. I slowly slide out of the bed like a snake, and head to the window. While looking in the window, I look at the people outside. There are people walking up and down the streets, teenage girls dancing to music, and gang members standing on the corners. Some of these people are my classmates and friends. I wondered why my friends were outside; instead of in their beds sleeping. Standing there in the window, I looked up into the dark sky.
“God, I know that there is a better life out there somewhere, and I am going to find it, and prove to everyone that dreams do come true,” I whispered.
After that day I begin to do whatever it took to achieve my goals. I felt that if I could pursue my dream then I could inspire others to do the same. In the neighborhood that I live in, there were not many inspirational leaders, which caused many people to give up on trying to pursue their dreams. Although there were great parents and a lot of single parent families who wanted the best for the children; however, a lot of young people were interested in the lifestyles that they were surrounded by. My mom thought she was not a good role model for my siblings and me, but her dreams are what inspired me to help others, and fulfill my desires. I remember the quote she use to tell us…
“Don’t look up to me, or say you want to be like me when you grow up. Be better than me,” my mom always said.
I always reflected on this statement. I felt sad because my mom was not proud of her own life. My mom was embarrassed that she was a high school dropout, a teen mom with four kids at the age of 21, and did not have support from the fathers of her children. In addition, she lived in a two bed room apartment with her mother, worked two jobs, and she was not always there for her kids. I always admired my mom for all she has done. I decided that I would accomplish everything my mom was unable to do. I started my mom’s dream list by graduating from high school, and then I graduated from college. I was the first one in my family to leave the country, and gain a college degree; it was the happiest day in my mother’s life. At the end of every graduation, I would give my mom the diploma and say:“
See mom you did graduate…well a part of you graduated today. I am so proud of you”.
I did not only graduate to make my mom proud because education has always been a great part of my life. I learned that if I studied hard, and made good grades, then I could do many good things in this world. My family, my community, my passion for education, and helping others are the reason I began to travel the world.
About the Author: My name is Andrea Scott and I am a bilingual teacher in Saint Louis, Missouri. I enjoy traveling to different countries and learning new languages. My dream is to become an international reporter, and I hope to inspire individuals through my writing. Some of my writing clips are located at http://iluv2express.blogspot.com/